tv CNN Newsroom CNN October 31, 2012 12:00pm-2:00pm EDT
hi. i'm suzanne malveaux at the worldwide headquarters of cnn welcoming in our viewers from the united states and the around the world. you're all here in the cnn "newsroom." disaster on top of disaster. how much can one city take? unbelievable flooding, millions of people with no power, and now this fire. 80 homes burned up in this neighborhood in queens, new york. we are live there in just a few
minutes. there's people down in the jersey shore. here's what they are dealing with as well. the storm called sandy ravaging the entire coastline. the g's office says at least six people with now dead in the aftermath. in long branch and pleasant beach and seaside heights, nobody has electricity. the storm knocked over trees, ripped out electric lines, and today more than two million people just in new jersey are without power. rail service, path trains that run up and down the coastline, forget about that. buses too all suspended. transit officials say it's going to be days, probably weeks before any type of commuter train service starts again between new jersey and new york city. now, look at our team of reporters that we've got them everywhere. cnn is all over the storm-damaged area. we are covering this disaster like no other network can and live coverage of and storm sandy. a new jersey man who has been surfing off the jersey shore for more than 20 years says the destruction along the coast brings tears to his eyes.
brian morowski sent us this video. he shot it the day after sandy struck. look at the expanse of all of this. it shows the beach boardwalk in his hometown del mar destroyed along with many of the shops that run up and down that area. it is really just a small, small snap shot of a much wider path of destruction that is along the coast that we are watching and seeing. destruction that governor chris christy has now called overwhelming. brian morowski is joining us on the phone from new jersey, and, brian, i understand that you actually road your bike to the boardwalk after the storm just to see what kind of damage was there. can you describe for me what you saw? >> yeah. it was like a war zone. it was unbelievable. i mean, just buildings crushed. the board walk completely gone. very sad. people's belongings everywhere.
not fun, man. not fun to see. >> brian,s somebody who is a part of this community, i can't imagine really what the emotions are that you are experiencing. can you talk a little bit about your conversations that you have with your family and your friends, some of the emotions that go through when you look at the day after and then the day after and realize this isn't really going to change any time soon? >> you know, you sit there and you think to yourself, you know, i'm glad i'm around my family, and my family is safe, and there are other people that aren't, you know, and you just -- you know, sometimes you take for granted for what you have, and not having an electric -- not having water, not having all these things, and these people -- this is a small thing for me, and people lost their homes and businesses, pets, family members. it's just very sad and it's just, you know, to be surrounded by all this that's so close to home, it just hits you hard, you
know? it's just not a good feeling. it's hard to stomach, especially when it's right around the corner from you. >> brian, is there anything that you or your family are doing when you reach out to -- some people look at this, and it's hard to get your mind around, and there are people who are in other parts of the country who are thinking, well, you know, we've seen this and we keep seeing these pictures. how do you describe to them, how do you explain to them what it is that your community is experiencing right now? when you don't have electric, and you are trying to figure out what to do next, you just try to help each other and just help each other get through what you are seeing, what you are hearing from other people, and as you are driving around town and seeing trees on homes, you know, and somebody comes back from going to the store to try to get
a cup of coffee or to basically get anything for that matter and they come back and they're upset because they saw something else and, you know, it's so hard because, like i said, you're just completely surrounded by it, but i have a great family and a good group of friends that we're around, and everybody is close in the area. we all know each other. i have surfed around the area for a long time, and i'm just helping out as much as we can with anything we can. you know, even like little things like, you know, i needed some sugar for some coffee or i need some toilet paper or just, you know, just gts things. you do what you can, and you hope for the best. it's tougher, but, you know, and there's nothing else you can do. it's out of your hands. you know, it's all mother nature's hands, and we're just going to fix up what is destroyed now. hopefully we'll go from there. >> brian, thank you so much for telling us about how your family
is doing and, obviously, i know you guys are really trying to get together and help each other out, and really even just the small things. we're taking a look. we watch these pictures here, and we look at just the mass scope here. i mean, it's just so big to wrap your head around the devastation, but you really bring a very personal picture to it. you know, something as simple as getting sugar for a cup of coffee or a roll of toilet paper to help out a friend or a neighbor who is in need, so brian, we're going to be keeping in touch with you to get a sense of how the community is pulling together during this very difficult time. thanks, brian. really appreciate it. the entire eastern seaboard is now in recovery mode from the carolinas to the canadian border, and right now we're going to focus on the jersey shore that is the 130-mile stretch of beaches, the barrier islands south of new york city. that is where we find our own cnn's michael holmes. he is moving around the thoms river in seaside heights area. he is joining us by phone. michael, some of the things that we have seen very recently, some of the new pictures, are just
these huge boats that were just thrown up on land and streets that were covered with water. can you describe for us where you are now and how the community is coping. >> michael, can you hear me? we just lost michael. we'll get back to him as soon as we can. some of the things that we've been watching, too, as this huge poster is unbelievable when you take a look at the pictures. that is just in the ocean, and it just shows you the amount of devastation and just how powerful the super storm was. we are also learning, of course, how dependent we are on technology. you know, there are many folks who are without power in new york city, and they're looking for a place to charge their cell phones, to try to communicate with people. you know, it really is -- it's very frustrating when you can't get ahold of people to find out what's going on. well, even our satellite trucks, like ours, are being used by
some as charging stations now. people, they try to recharge their phone batteries, but even if you try to recharge them, using them is another matter altogether. the cell towers are now not even working, making it difficult to even place a call or now to use the internet. president obama is expected to arrive in new jersey. that's this hour. get an up close look at the damage from super storm sandy. he will be touring the devastated areas of the jersey shore, of course, with new jersey governor chris christie. although he is a campaign surrogate for mitt romney, big-time supporter of mitt romney, cris christie gives president obama high marks for his response to the storm. we want to bring in our analyst claire borger to talk about it. it's not every dah i you hear governor christie praising the president, but he says the president has done an xlebt job. the disaster in his state bigger than this presidential election. here's what he said earlier this morning on fox news.
>> is there any possibility that governor romney may go to new jersey to tour some of the damage with you? >> i have no idea, nor am i the least bit concerned or interested. i've got a job to do here in new jersey that's much bigger than presidential politics, and i could care less about any of that stuff. i have a job to do. i've got 2.4 million people out of power. i've got devastation on the shore. i've got floods in the northern part of my state. if you think right now i give a damn about presidential politics, then you don't know me. >> hmm. all right, gloria. so he says he doesn't give a damn about politics. i know a lot of voters are watching very closely in terms of how a president handles this six days out from the election. it's a delicate balancing act. on the one hand we are going to see him touring the area, but he doesn't want to be seen giving photo opes, that kind of thing. needs to speak out and reassure the american people, but not speak too much. how much of this really is a very delicate act right now on both the part of the president
and mitt romney? >> you know, it's very delicate, yes, but, you know, the president has to do his job. what he is doing is doing his job, which is he is going to devastated areas which one would expect, the commander in chief to do. he is deploying resources. if he didn't show up there, people would be saying where is the president? i think, a, he has a job so do and he is doing it. it is a little more difficult, of course, for mitt romney. mitt romney doesn't have a job to do. he is not the president. that's his job. he has to walk a fine line and saying, look, we have to think of you people along the eastern seaboard, and then take a turn and take a turn to politics and campaigning as the president will do when he gets back on the campaign trail tomorrow, but in the meantime, he has to be
president of the united states. you mention the president will be campaigning again and have stops in wisconsin and vegas. all very key to winning the election. you have romney in florida today in tampa just the last hour. tell us about the tone that both of these men have to strike. the president tomorrow and the kind of tone that we are hearing from mitt romney today. >> you know, i think when big things happen in the country, the tone -- the sense that the presidential campaign seems to get a little smaller, suzanne, because this has been a very negative, very nasty, very small campaign, if you ask me, while the issues could not be larger. the state of the economy being one of them, and then when you have a natural disaster on top of the serious issues that we ought to be discussing about the future of the country. i think what you are probably going to see is a tone change. now, i would also say to you
that at the end of a campaign is usually a time when you do see a shift in tone because people start making their closing arguments, and you don't ever want to end a presidential campaign on a negative, nasty note. you are going to be running negative ads, sure, but the candidate himself will try and move to a higher ground always at the end of a campaign. >> let's talk a little bit about how this storm might actually impact voter turnout. we're seeing a new poll today that shows the presidential race is actually tightening in pennsylvania. the new franklin-marshall polls showing president obama with a 49% to 45% edge. it's down from last month. there are some areas in pennsylvania that are critical on the east coast, blue collar workers, that the president needs. what do we make of how this might impact voter turnout, voter enthusiasm, and even people's ability to go to the polls? >> well, i think, as you point out, everything right now comes down to voter turnout.
in a state where you see the polls close, what we see is each of the campaigns trying to say, you know, the romney campaign saying, oh, we're making up a lot of ground, we're going to run some ads in pennsylvania, and the obama campaign is saying, oh, come on, you're not going to win pennsylvania. there's a lot of head fake going on there because what you want to get your voters out is a sense of momentum. your vote could make the difference, and we've got the mentum so you need to get out there for us, so what each campaign really needs to do is get up that enthusiasm level to get those voters to the polls in every state. not only it is states affected by the storm, but everywhere, and that's why the president and mitt romney go out and hold huge rallies towards the end of a campaign because they want to give their voters the sense of excitement, the sense of momentum, the sense that your vote counts, and so we need you to get out there in this very close race, which, by the way,
it is, suzanne, as you well know. all the polls show this is a one or two point race nationally, and there are about seven states in which this game is really being played, and those states are also within a couple of points. very, very tight. >> very, very tight. very close. whether or not people are actually going to be able to vote, get out to the polls and -- or deal with their lives. a lot of these people's homes and their lives destroyed because of this storm. >> absolutely. >> how they're going to manage both of those, how that's going to impact voter turnout. gloria, thank you very much. appreciate it. >> sure. >> we want you to weigh in on how the storm is actually affecting your opinion of the candidates, if at all. cnn has partnered with facebook to create a new app called im voting. it asks to you commit to vote this election. we hope you'll do that. also, it shows you how your friends and your neighbors feel about just a whole host of issues, so just go to my facebook page, facebook.com/suzanne.cnn.
click on the i'm voting app today. you're going to see this question. has superstorm sandy changed your preference in presidential candidates? you have a couple of options. you can click yes, i was impressed by obama's leadership and response to the storm. you can choose yes, i i was compressed by romney's sensitivity to storm victims. you can say no, i've made up my mind about the candidates. we're going share your responses in the next hour. we're also going to bring you more on superstorm sandy, the mess this t has left behind. we want you to listen to how this 90-year-old new jersey resident describes it. >> 91 years i've never seen anything like this ever. >> can you describe what happened when the water came? >> we were sleeping, my daughter and i. all of a sudden the water came in like -- i'm a conservative investor.
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let's go to governor cuomo following a helicopter tour that he took of the damage earlier today. let's listen. >> the assets, particular thanks to our partners in the federal governme government. president obama has been on top of this situation and very informed. i've spoken to him several times myself. he wants to know what new york needs. he has been all over. fema has been fantastic. and responsive and working these types of situations. i have total respect for the job that fema is doing. i want to thank them very much as well as the army corps of
engineers. as you all know, one of the major problems still is the water in the tunnels, the water has receded, so when you drive around, it looks like most of the water is gone, but the water filled the subway tunnels in many places, fill the brooklyn battery tunnel, and when the water fills the tunnels, that means con-edison has issues. much of con-ed's equipment was in the tunnels, so getting the water out of the tunnels probably the main -- one of the main orders of business right now. first a transportation update. as you know, the new york city buses are at full service today. thank you, mr. joe and your extraordinary team. there will be limited commuter rail service on metro north and on the long island railroad which will begin 2:00 p.m.
today. okay? limited commuter rail service on metro north and limited new york city subway service subpoena meanted by a business bridge which bill will give you more will begin tomorrow. one more time. limited new york city subway service sum mepted by a bus bridge from brooklyn to manhattan will begin tomorrow. three of the seven east river tunnels have been pumped and are now free of water, so that's good news. there will be more service literally on a day by day basis as the mta is working through this, and, once again, i have had the good fortune of working closely with the fda team, and
jim loda and his team has done magnificent service, and we thank them all very much. new yorkers have been great through this. we're going to need some patience and tolerance. traffic is very difficult for two reasons. we still have some pass that is are closed. we found tunnels still closed, et cetera. there's a high volume of traffic in the city itself. many of the traffic lights are still out, so there's a certain amount of confusion at the intersections in terms of power, restoration. we are working very hard, and that's a situation that will be developing on a day to day basis. conedison has been giving updates to the westchester companies on long island where we have probably the greatest challenge from a power point of view. we have at the new york state
power authority, that is the upstate utility workers through the down state area. to help out may not, the island, and westchester. as of now we have 1,800 utility workers that are coming into the down state area as we speak. primarily from upstate new york coming to help their neighbors in down state new york, so we applaud them and we thank those utility workers very much. that is going to be still a day by day situation until we know how much power will be restored when. so patience and tolerance on the traffic conditions and on the power restoration conditions. i can assure you these are significant challenges that
we're facing. problems many n many cases that we have not experienced before and not in a generation. patience and tolerance would be appreciated. with that let me turn it over to new york's sister senator, chuck schumer. >> thank you, governor. thank you and your entire team. great job that you have done. as well as our executives. i've been speaking to all of them. bob, who is here, county executive and malone and, of course, mayor bloomberg. >> governor cuomo giving an update on what new yorkers are to expect. real quick highlight here. giving praise to president obama and also saying that fema has been fantastic, saying there are still major problems. the major problem is the water that is still in the tunnels, and also the fact that this water filled subway tunnels as well. there's a lot of water that has to be pumped physically pumped out of the subway system there in new york, and that is going to take some time. he did give two updates, however, that are good news. encouraging for some new yorkers
that the new york city buses are now at full service and so people can take full advantage of that. limited commuter rail service beginning at 2:00 p.m. today. also said there's going to be some limited subway service tomorrow starting at 2:00 p.m. tomorrow, but that, of course, is also going to be supplemented with the bus route as well. a lot of people need to figure that out. there's a pretty good sense and a pretty good guy, and he is also giving a warning here that it is still really tough going getting around new york city, specifically if you are in a vehicle that traffic is very, very difficult to get around and he said below 34th street there is no subway service still because he says there's still no power, and that is going to take a lot of work from con edson to try to get the subway system back in the lower part of manhattan bringing in all the resource that is he has, particularly from the upper part of the state. he says 1,800 utility workers coming to down state new york to essentially try to not only assess the damage, but try to
get people back up and able to move around. transportation a huge deal in the north. a lot of people do not have cars. they depend on the subway system, they depend on the commuter rails to get around. it is a way that most people actually travel in new york and communicate with each other and get to their places of work as well as to get back home. we're going to have more of an update on what folks are going through from this superstorm sandy after this quick break. >> thank god helping people get out of their homes. there's no place to go. there's a thick stench of gasoline in the water as well, so you have a real challenge to the city here. what if there was a new way to deal with money that focused less on fees and more... on what matters? maybe your bank account is taking too much time and maybe it's costing too much money. introducing bluebird by american express and walmart.
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to normal. at least in the air. we're bringing in richard quest for some details. richard, first of all, you used to live in new york. they said 34th and below is where there's no subway no power. >> no subway, no power. i used to live on the 23rd floor, and would be walking up and downstairs nonstop. it is a grim situation. it is slowly getting back to something. >> talk about j.f.k., la guardia. can you get to new york, and can new yorkers get out? >> no. i'm going show you. gosh, you're so impatient sometimes. first of all, i just want to deal with the airport that is closed, and that is la guardia, and that's the shot of la guardia. there is a report that la guardia is one of the -- it's just -- one of the pontoons for runway 22 out into the water was struck by a barge during the hurricane, and that there may be damage to the approach lights. haven't had that confirmed, but we do know the runway is flooded. we do know there was damage to
the navigational aid or at least they need to be inspected, and that's the reason why in la guardia's case the airport is closed. in the case of new york, it's a question of power where there seems to be problems. kennedy is open, but here's the point. do not be deceived when you don't see the airport of kennedy and newark on your list, and you actually see that those airports are now open. the reality is it's slow and it is -- this is what it looks like at the moment. this is the situation of aircraft coming into kennedy, so jetblue, for example, brought a lot of flights in. delta brought a lot of flights in. they had to. there were no planes on the ground. a lot of flights. now look at the departures from kennedy, and you'll see a very different situation. look at that. you've got fedex leaving and you've got another fedex flight leaving. virtually no departures at the moment coming from kennedy, so
the planes are in, and now they've got to turn them around and get things moving again. i'm going to take the same and show you from newark because newark is the other airport we're following very closely. this is the arrivals list from newark. at the moment we just have a handful of planes from dublin, amsterdam, geneva, hamburg, brussels, cleveland. if you start to look at all the domestic flights, you see nothing but a series of cancellations. once again, newark is not moving. there's nothing moving out of there. suzanne, the long and short of the situation at the moment is that wherever you look, the flights are slowly coming in, but it's painfully slow, and it will be many days before things can be anything like normal at those airports. let alone la guardia. >> just have to be patient there. i want to go back to the jersey shore. it's 130 mile stretch of beaches and barrier islands. this is south of new york city. that's where we find our michael
hoemtz. he is moving around the thoms river and seaside heights area. he is on the phone, and, michael, if you can hear me, we have actually been seeing some pretty dramatic pictures of huge boats that are just thrown on to land and streets covered with water. give us a sense of where you are right now and what you are seeing. >> yes. we are at the first of the media to get on to the barrier islands. i'm on ocean city, ocean beach right now, and i can tell you, standing right here, i have the ocean to my left and to the right is just as far as you can see, damage to these houses. some of them -- the walls have just collapsed, and the roofs are sitting on the ground. others foundations are just being dug out dramatically by that surge of water that came rushing over the beach here. the dunes broke down. the ocean basically went inland up to 14 feet in some places.
there are sinkholes. there are four or five of those. i saw one full-size pick-up truck. you could only see its roof as it was sitting in a sinkhole. we've seen houses in the middle of the street, entire houses. roofs all over the place. sometimes they're he remarkably the not bad, but other places just deaf stated. several blocks from the street, covered. you can just get the sense of the force of the storm as it came ashore. we spoke to several people who were slowly leaving. most people have left. sml some elderly people, you know, in all their lives, they've never seen anything like it. they would not have stayed here, suzanne. >> michael, talk about this roller coaster that we are seeing. we are seeing pictures of this amusement park that is literally under water. it is quite dramatic to see these images. what do you know about it? >> i am not there at the moment, so i can't tell. we're sorry sort of slowly working our way up the island.
we've been through -- now at ocean beach here. you know, i have herebied that there is a park not far from here that's been completely destroyed. boardwalks have been destroyed. piers are being destroyed. i don't know how they'll begin to repair this. they have begun clean-up. front loaders and dump trucks that are picking up the debris off the roads already. my goodness, as i'm looking down on the beach now, you can see house after house after house damaged by the storm. it's going to take a long time. >> michael, is there anybody else who is there? you say you are the first of the media to get on barrier islands. are there emergency personnel? are there crews out there. are there any residents who are, like, picking through the debris? >> there are all of those things. yeah. about three -- probably three hours ago now we saw a mile long convoy going on to these
islands. busloads of workers, heavy machinery, gas trucks and the like over here, and then it was about three hours ago, and then the police allowed a small group of media to come over and have a look for ourselves. it's still not safe for people to be wandering down. i smell natural gas. very strong smell of natural gas. there have been fires along here as well. we have seen residents who stuck it out here wandering the streets. some of them on the back of the truck being taken out of here. they're just shell shocked by what they went through. some of them were here for the 1962 storm which was massive and said, you know, that didn't compare to this. >> all right. michael, thank you so much. excellent reporting. we're going to get back to you often to get a sense of how the
community is coping there. we're looking at extraordinary pictures. that is hard to even imagine the kind of clean-up effort that is going to -- that this is requiring to go underway in thes weeks and months to come. this is also kept them off the campaign trail, we're talking about the president, but the superstorm has actually given him also a leg occupy the election. that is our question. we're going to take a look at the political impact of sandy. [ male announcer ] it's time to get away and head to malibu. time to experience the all-new 2013 chevrolet malibu ls, re-imagined from the ground up with 10 air bags and the reassurance of onstar, standard for six months. this is the new malibu -- already an iihs 2012 top safety pick. and now with low lease programs, a malibu state of mind has never been easier to get to, no matter what state you live in. ♪
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columnist for "the boston globe" and also served on the homeland security department in the obama administration. first of all, you have a column that is on right now, cnn.com. it essentially praises the president for his response to the storm. you say it's the most significant of his presidency. let's listen to a quick clip of his comments. >> i think the public needs to prepare for the fact that this is going to take a long time for us to clean up. the good news is we will clean up, and we will get through this. >> so there are two things he points out. taking care of yourself and getting through this. really talking about the role of government, the heart of the role of government here, and the stark contrast between candidates. explain why you think this is so significant at this time. >> well, i think there's an important aspect to president obama's speech that gets lost in sort of the part sfwlan aspects of this, which is really about self-reliance and about the role of the government in promoting self-reliance amongst the
citizenry, and so what you heard not just from obama -- this is why it's not necessarily part sxwlan. you you've heard it from chris christie, andrew cuomo, all the governors who, people, take care of yourselves, take care of your neighbors, and, essentially don't be stupid, right? on monday that was the message. don't be stupid. then you heard from president obama that the government is going to help, but don't expect from the government immediately. we are a resilient nation, and we will get back to where we were if not better, but it's not going to happen overnight. it was one of the most realistic conversations about government and the role of government that we've heard in the last year of campaigning. >> do you think this could work for republicans as well as democrats, that if you heard this message from mitt romney and he said the same thing and said, look, you know what, we're in a tough time here, but the government does have a role, but you still have to take some personal responsibility that if he said that, people would
listen and -- >> that's exactly right. i mean, this is not necessarily a democratic message, right? it is certainly appealing to the self-sufficiency and the self-reliance so a lot of the republican party, and it's why i sort of wonder if romney hasn't come back with that about all these complaints that he said about fema because really everyone knows they to take care of themselves, and the government needs to demand that of people. also, there is an appropriate role for government, and now there is this -- the inability to sort of answer that question, what did he mean when he said he would disband fema. we're sort of stuck in this idealogical debate, when really this sentiment animates across both parties, and that's why you are hearing it from christie and you're hearing it from president obama. >> you brought up fema and past statements that mitt romney has made about fema. there are reporters who are covering this campaign who have asked him. according to some reporters at least 14 times whether or not he would disband fema if he was the
president. we're not hearing a response. they're not getting a response. >> right. >> out there on the campaign. what do you think that says? >> maybe he doesn't have an answer. i have to tell you, of course, he is not going to disband fema. no president is going to disband a federal emergency management agency, whether it's hurricanes or terrorists or oil spills. whatever it is, you're going to have to have some federal capacity for emergency management. why that isn't the message, i don't get what's going on here. what really is the question is how much responsibility do you want to put on individuals or states and localities versus the federal government? the truth is fema is doing an amazing job because it's a coordinating agency. people think it has millions of people working for it out there being first responders. it doesn't. it's a couple thousand people strong. its benefit to the federal government is that it unifies the federal agencies, all that are working together right now, and coordinates with state and
local. that's why you are hearing praise about fema many terms of its state and local coordination. so this idea that fema is some large bureaucracy is just -- it means you just don't understand what emergency management means on the federal level, and i think, you know, someone has to -- from this campaign has to explain what you think fema actually does. i don't think it's more than a couple thousand people strong. >> thank you for your analysis. very interesting. you can see it on cnn.com,er op ed. thanks again. fire, water. we're going to take you to new jersey for more on the devastation left by sandy and the recovery effort that is now underway. [ male announcer ] imagine facing the day with less chronic osteoarthritis pain. imagine living your life with less chronic low back pain. imagine you, with less pain. cymbalta can help.
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started pumping out an estimated $500 million gallons of water that poured in from the hudson. 20,000 of the city's 50,000 residents are reportedly now stranded by this flood. just this morning the city put out this cry for help on its official twitter feed. it says, "we need donations of bottled water, nonperishable food delivered to hoch oken city hall. then the address. brian todd is joining us from hoboken. brian, first of all, how long do you think that it is going to take to pump this city dry? >> it's going to take a while. as can you see behind me, the city residents here, these are not city workers. they're residents just wading through the water here trying to find storm drains and other things that they can clear the water out coming into this gentleman's -- past this gentleman's knees. obviously, this is still a very dangerous situation. we're told that there are all sorts of dangerous material in the water. people have to be very careful when they're kind of wading
around here. there have been evacuations from this street and other streets. we're on the corner of newark and dardon street, but right now it doesn't seem like this is going to be draining any i'm soon. this is caused by a surge in the hudson river that came up when some of the storm drains backed up. when the storm came through, the surge from the river came up through the drains. it had nowhere to go, but here. that's one problem facing hoboken, new jersey. we were also in monoty, new jersey earlier today. we came upon a house fire, a very intense house fire there. it started, we think, according to the fire chief, by some kind of a short that occurred in some wires. when they turned on the power. just as the water was receding. the power crews are scrambling to get power up every where they can in northern new jersey as soon as they can, and sometimes if there is still receding waters, that poses a danger, and that town is still running into a lot of it. there are also gas leaks up will. just a lot of peril still on the streets even while the flooding
is still here, while the water is receding, and, you know, this place is just scrambling trying to get back up, back up to speed, but it's a slow go. >> brian todd, more on that. back to you momentarily. we'll have more on the destruction up next. small in size. big on safety. your soups are so awesomely delicious my husband and i can't stop eating 'em! what's...that... on your head? can curlers! tomato basil, potato with bacon... we've got a lot of empty cans. [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup. you can mix and match all day! [ male announcer ] don't miss red lobster's endless shrimp, just $14.99! try as much as you like, any way you like! like parmesan crusted shrimp. hurry in, offer ends soon! i'm ryan isabell and i see food differently. hurry in, offer ends soon! ♪ atmix of energies.ve the world needs a broader that's why we're supplying natural gas to
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>> we're hearing stories of devastation and also survival. this is a baby just 2 days old. she was born four weeks premature, in the middle of superstorm sandy. the power went off, the lights went out, and less than 48 hours later she and her parents were evacuated from a hospital by the light of glow sticks. we'll have more on the historic storm. [ male announcer ] alka-seltzer plus presents the cold truth.
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welcome back it cnn newsroom. i'm suzanne malveaux. sandy leaves its mark on the northeast. homes devastated. some lives ruined. while people are searching for answers, others are simply looking for a way out to safety. >> you don't know because there's nobody around. you're trying to get out of a window and you are up to your neck in water. it's freezing. the wind is blowing. i got a dog. i got my mother. you don't know what's going to happen. really. you see your life pass. >> the clean-up has just begun. president obama, he is going to be touring some of the damage in new jersey. that is happening this hour. that is where we begin with the president in the disaster zone. this hour he is touring the devastation along the jersey shore with governor chris christie. the governor says the president's response to the storm has been outstanding. we want to bring in our chief white house correspondent jessica yellen to talk about
this. the governor now saying that the storm recovery certainly trumps politics, but in reality, just six days away from the presidential election, how do you think this is either benefitting the president when he is able to take on a leadership position in this crisis, and how does it actually hurt him that he is not able to campaign? >> on the one hand it's a great help to him because he can be in the role of commander in chief effectively using the resources of the federal government, and one of the centerpieces of his campaign has been that the federal government does serve a valuable role and while it should be reduced perhaps in its spending, it shouldn't be decimated. that's the argument he has been waging with romney arguing that governor romney wants to really, you know, that the campaign is to decimate the role of the federal government. here you see fema out in the field doing its work, and that can bolster the president's argument when he does hit the campaign trail again tomorrow and he can make the case that
this is government work, federal government at its best. it also shows his leadership qualities in play, and allows him to have that kind of a public role. the way it hurts, not just that he is off the campaign trail, but we know so much of the obama campaign is relying on getting out their early voters because many of their voters don't turn out on election day. the question, the big unknown is, do they lose in that category? today they're exuding enormous confidence insisting that's not a concern for them. we'll see, suzanne. >> and jessica, talk a little bit about the tone, because both of them are going to be back on the campaign trail. romney is already out campaigning in florida today. the president, he is going to be making stops tomorrow in green bay, wisconsin, boulder, colorado, and vegas. what are the tones that the candidates are iffing to be striking in the days ahead in light of the storm? >> i think it's a tricky issue. for example, today i should mention that jay carney mentioned that the president
called nyu medical center, and you'll recall there they lost their generator, and the president called to thank two doctors who helped bring 200 patients to safety during the storm and said this is the way americans come together they will try to end their campaigns on a high note, while trying to make some slight digs -- not slight -- digs, and the others for the negative ads, for attacks in the closing days, and you can't expect the campaign to turn off just because there's been a storm despite the loss of life i'm sure they will avoid politics. it will be focused exclusively on the storm, both men for various reasons, suzanne. >> thank you, jessica. romney today urging reporters to keep the victims of
the storm in his thoughts and prayers. romney, is he back on the campaign trail in florida, as you know. a rally in tampa earlier today, and told the odd wrens if you have an extra dollar or two, send them to the folks affected by the storm. he also reached out to voters struggling in the sluggish economy. here's what he said. >> think of all the single moms across america. all the single moms that are skrimping and saving in order to make sure they have a good meal on the table at the end of the day for their children. i think of the moms and dads who have two jobs right now or one has a day job and one has a night job, they hardly see each other. why? so they can buy the clothes for their kids that won't make their kids stand out at school. >> romney has two more stops in florida today. one in coral gabls next hour. another one in jacksonville. that is happening later this afternoon. now, to the clean-up and the
recovery. the sheer disbelief that left behind from the super storm called sandy. here's what people down the jersey shore -- this is what they're dealing with. take a look at these pictures here. it is really unbelievable. the storm ravaging the entire coastline. the governor's office says at least six people are dead in the aftermath. in long branch and pleasant beach and seaside heights, the power is out. the storm knocked over trees, ripped down electric lines. as for rail service and bus service, all of that is suspended for now. the mayor of seaside heights was on cnn just a while ago. >> just trying to get a semblance of what was. when are you looking at this picture, what they thought of seaside heights before, it's not ever going to be the same. it will never be that old sea side heights. it's going to be drircht. we've lost two piers. they're in the ocean. >> let's bring in sandra endo
out of new jersey to talk about what people are dealing with now. we've seen the devastation and destruction in these pictures. is there a sense now from the people in that community that they begin the recovery, they begin the clean-up, or are they still in shock? >> i have seen a lot of shock and tired and the sense of disbelief from a lot of people here in atlantic city. this is a scene that a lot of people are returning to when they come back to their homes. they see debris strewn about, and you can just imagine how forceful these waves were. these boats were really tied down. they were outside of the water, and they're just strewn about like somebody kicked over a bin of toy boats. they're just all over the place, and here you can even see a portion of the dock. the dock is on the other side of these row of houses, so the marina's water basically came up, flooded this whole entire neighborhood, strewn boats around, and then picked up portions of the dock and, they're just lying around in people's driveways. clearly, you see how forceful
the water was. you can kind of see still the wurtline here in this home. it's kind of soaked this entire wall. it was up to here, and that is why you see such devastation here in a lot of neighborhoods. clearly, a lot of people just don't know where to begin. a lot of people looking for help, looking for federal aid. we saw fema workers out surveying damage as well, and clearly, this is something the president is iffing to see for himself when he comes here to atlantic city shortly, and he will be touring these areas of devastation with democratic governor chris christie and it will be interesting to see what they have to say, but clearly both men are putting politics aside for this devastation, suzanne. >> sandra, where are the folks there? where are people? are they actually in shelters? are they able to return to their homes? >> we've seen a lot of community members really trying to get back into these areas, but clearly, these flooded areas are cordoned off. police have really closed down a
lot of these he's streets, and we've seen tensions run high here, suzanne. a lot of angry neighbors trying to get back into their communities, but being stopped because it's just not safe. they have to really go through street by street block by block to see if these structures are safe enough for residents to go back in, to check on their homes and their belongings. >> it's employing to take time for people to come back in and for people to start picking up the pieces. >> we know this is where the president will be touring with republican governor chris christie moments from now to get a firsthand look at what is taking place and what is on the ground, the impact of that storm has had. we also want you to weigh in on how the storm is actually affecting your opinion of the candidates, if at all. cnn has partnered now with facebook to create a new app. it is called i'm voting. so, first, it does ask you to commit to vote this election. we certainly hope you do. then second, it shows you how
your friends, your neighbors feel about a whole host of issues. just go to my facebook page, facebook.com/suzan facebook.com/suzannecnn. click on the i'm voting app. today you'll see the question has superstorm sandy changed your impression of the presidential candidates? you can choose yes, i was impressed by obama's leadership in his response to the storm or, yes, i was impressed by romney's sensitivity to the storm victims, or, no, i've made up my mind. here's what's happening this hour. uncovering the damage that is left in sandy's wake. >> like, it was a surge. within ten minutes the roads were completely covered. >> the aftermath. plus, could super storm sandy leave a super mark on the race to the white house? >> so i don't give a damn about election day. it doesn't matter a lick to me at the moment. i've got much bigger fish to fry than that, so do the people of the state of new jersey. >> will people affected by the storm actually remember to vote?
if they do, will they even have a place to vote? plus, we want to hear from the president who is now assessing the damage. cnn newsroom continues. he coorde are working on a joke with local color. the secure cloud just received a revised intro from the strategist's tablet. and while i make my way into the venue, the candidate will be rehearsing off of his phone. [ candidate ] and thanks to every young face i see out there. [ woman ] his phone is one of his biggest supporters. [ female announcer ] with cisco at the center... working together has never worked so well. customer erin swensoner ] bought so, i'm happy. today. sales go up... i'm happy. it went out today... i'm happy. what if she's not home? (together) she won't be happy. use ups! she can get a text alert, reroute... even reschedule her package. it's ups my choice. are you happy? i'm happy. i'm happy. i'm happy. i'm happy. i'm happy. happy. happy. happy. happy. (together) happy. i love logistics.
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president obama now has arrived in new jersey, atlantic city, new jersey. air force one touching down there. you can see him with governor chris christie. the two of them talking there on the tarmac and meeting other officials who have come to greet him. the two of them are going to be touring some of the most devastated areas from superstorm sandy. both putting partisan politics aside the last couple of days. a unified front between these two. the governor praising the president for doing an outstanding job for keeping him manufactured and for the work that fema has done. these are two men who have talked several times during the last couple of days, and the president saying that he is keeping his phone available for governor christie and the other governors faced with this monumental task. there are boarding marine one. marine one will take them exactly -- it will touch down to the site where it is that the
damage is the worst to assess to see firsthand there, but the president, again, boarding the smaller craft, as he typically does, to go the damaged area. we are told it could be hours that they actually tour some of the worst hit places inside new jersey, but these two leaders working in a bipartisan way. the g putting aside politics. the president making sure that the governors have what they need during these days and, of course, the weeks to come. all of the six days outside of the presidential election. we are also going to go to hoboken, emergency new jersey. we're just getting new tape in now, and this is the national guard that has arrived to this area bringing the kinds of supplies that people have been looking for. you see a resident there with his dog and a couple of reporters who are asking questions trying to get a sense of how things have been for him,
but you see the national guard behind as they have started to unload some of the supplies from those supply trucks and they've arrived in an area that has been deeply impacted. much of it underway. we've also seen pictures of sand in the homes of the community there, but it looks like at least on this block that people are able to get around. a baby in a stroller. the guy with his dog and a lot of folks with backpacks who are reaching out to the national guard, and it looks like they are very curious in terms of what they're going to be able to receive, getting information, communication, supplies. these are all things that residents are going to need. many of these communities without power, without a real way of getting around and communicating and so you can imagine the relief just to see some boots on the ground, the national guard there, to help out and assist to even answer questions if they've got
questions about what is iffing to be taking place in the hours, the days and the weeks to come. these are the residents in hoboken, new jersey, hard hit by the superstorm sandy and the national guard on the scene. polling places flooded, whole towns without power, voters are now more focused on facing their homes, as you can imagine, than casting their ballots. we've been talking for months, right, about how every vote can will count next tuesday, but the aftermath of the superstorm could make it really rough for thousands along the east coast to really get to the polls. we're joined by joe johns out of d.c. joe, we went through some of the logistical problems that this storm has caused for many states, particularly new jersey, virginia, new york. what are election officials doing now that these polling places are out of commission on tuesday? >> well, sort of a process, if you think about, it suzanne. the first thing they have have to do is really poll the polling places, look around at all the counties and precincts and see where the problems really are. then identify what the problems
are. so if, say, the polling place itself is out of commission, you got to perhaps find a new polling place. if the machines are out of commission, either you find new machines or you go to paper ballots or you send your people to other places. you can change times, extend the times of day at other polling places, so people can go there. a whole range and a variety of things that officials can do depending on the situation and most importantly, suzanne, depending on what the rules say. again and again, since bush versus gore, we've come to understand that people who are handling elections have to follow the rules that were in place before the election began, so that's probably what they're going to be centered on. suzanne. >> joe, this might be a kind of simple question here, but you say some of these places might go to par ballots as opposed some of the machines that we saw. do they have to have power or electricity to vote in a certain area? >> well, it just depends.
you know, there are a lot of areas that actually use electronic machines that require electricity, but that doesn't mean all of them have to be plugged into the wall. there are some machines that actually run on batteries, so that's definitely a possibility. the issue of paper ballots certainly comes into play in a variety of states. there are some states out there, in fact, some of the states that were hit, still do paper ballots. notably massachusetts and connecticut. in parts of virginia as well. there are, again, a variety of options, but it dpoendz the state and it depends on the counties. >> many of those states that are affected by the storm are reliably democratic, so the race very close. already a lot of speculation the next president could actually win the electoral college, but lose the popular vote. does this storm make this scenario even more likely? >> well, it all depends on what happens over the next several days. you know, certainly after the counties and the elections boards decide where the problems are, then they're going to look
to solutions and try to get it fixed. over in pennsylvania certainly there's a potential for a problem there. they've been working with the people to try to establish some paper balloting in the event the batteries on the machines run out because that's a state which we consider for the longest time to be a battleground state, but then it sort of moved into the obama column. now the question is whether it's going to become even closer due to the weather problems created at the polls, suzanne. >> joe, i have a question. does this mean it could potentially be a delay in finding out who the next president is? >> yeah. well, that's certainly possible, and as you know, a lot of people around the country have been planning for that eventuality just because of the closeness of the race. this certainly throws another wrench into the scenario, and we'll just have to see. >> all right. joe, it might get a lot messier. thank you. appreciate it. getting out the vote never
superstorm sandy. earlier we told you it was 31 people who have died. now we're getting new information. at least 50 people have perished from this storm. the presidential election still coming down to a handful of key battleground states. the it could come down to the ground game. that's the network of the volunteers, the get out the vote effort. joining us to talk about that is molly ball, staff writer for "the atlantic." you write about this in detail. it's an interesting article. you spent a lot of time on both the romney and the obama campaigns on the ground looking at the ground game. give us a sense of the difference between the two. >> i dropped in on some swing states to observe what was going and what were the differences between them, and what you see is this is something that obama really built in 2008 and has kept building in 2012, and they
are really ramped up both the method that is they use in terms of targeting people and getting out the vote, and also just the sheer number of campaign offices and in some states there's over 100 campaign offices so they can reach everybody in their communities where they live. romney doesn't have his own ground game, per se. he is relying on the republican national committee, which is advantageous that he could build up a ground game. they started building this in march. we didn't see a lot of evidence that they would have the same 250i7 of rigorously standardized methods that the democrats are using, and also not that sort of entrenched effort in a lot of these places that the democrats have put so much time and money into. >> so back in 2008 you had a chance to really see firsthand the obama campaign and a ground game, and essentially, it trounced john mccain's network. we were talking about contacts, volunteers, get out the vote machine. now, you bring up this point, and i thought it was
interesting. you say he didn't really need all of that because there was enough voter enthusiasm and bush fatigue to put him over the top anyway, but you make the point here that you say the ground game, a superior ground game from this president, is absolutely critical. why the difference this go-round? >> well, the political rule of thumb is that your ground game, your field organization, can get you probably about two points above what you're polling or above what you would otherwise get. this is going to be a very close election. a lot of polls are showing it tied nationally. down to the wire in a lot of battleground states. you need those two points. in 2008 when obama really blew out mccain in a lot of battleground states, it was really sort of icing on the cake to have this superior organization and there's even a political scientist who has done a study and found that obama would have won that election anyway even without this vast field organization. it probably just gave him some extra electoral votes as sort of a cushion back in 2008. >> you say the romney campaign has at least 800 offices --
obama has 800 offices compared to romney's 300. rick wiley says that this is the obama symbol of liberal big government mentality that the obama campaign thinks will put 100 offices in this state we're going to win, but we take a smaller smarter approach, he says, just like we do in government. do you think he has a point? >> well, it's certainly possible that they are just running a more efficient operation, and this is their rationale for why they have so many fewer. obama has more than three times as many field offices in ohio. more than twice as many in places like virginia and florida, and they maintain that when you are asking people to come out and make phone calls and do canvass you can't expect them to drive for two hours in these really spread out places. i was struck by the -- the rnc could very well be right. they say they're making more voter contacts than in the past. all of these metrics, those volunteer metric that is they use, but i was struck by the fact that instead of trying to sort of compete with obama on this metric, they were trying to
spin it. they're saying that we didn't even try to have all -- as many locations as he has. we are running a different type of operation. >> all right. we'll see if it pays off for either one of them. molly ball, thank you very much. good to have you on. superstorm sandy came and went leaving a trail of flooded roads and damaged homes. one of the areas hit the hardest besides new york city is hoboken, new jersey. want you to take a look at the voted here. people -- we're about to see how they are managing their lives, trying to put their lives back together in a report up next. i don't spend money on gasoline. i am probably going to the gas station about once a month.
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last night she was fighting battles on many fronts. take a listen. >> my major concern is all of the people that are still in their apartments without, you know, enough water, without enough food, with medical issues. dwoept want people walking out into the water from their homes. >> the evacuation has begun. we're told that national guard troops have been deployed over the last day or day and a half or so just taking people out of these neighborhoods, people who
were stranded at least temporarily in their apartments and brownstones here, taking them to other areas that are not quite as affected. we have to say the water has receded. the water here was higher up further up the street here in front of me there's no water on the street. behind me the water comes up to this gentleman's knees. there are a couple of city residents. that's the problem. storm drains here backed up with the floods, with the surging of the hudson river due to the storm. the water simply had nowhere to go, came up the storm drain, ended up here, and the city of 50,000, thousands of stranded residents, they are getting some relief. national guard is coming through here every few minutes taking people to places that are a little bit higher and places where they can go and maybe areas near where their families are. to answer your question, suzanne, it's not really safe to be in the water here. it's very dirty. there's a lot of sewage and other material you don't even want to think about in here. these guys are taking a risk, but they're trying to help bring some relief here and clear some of the storm drains. it's not easy right now.
>> brian, if are you walking around in boots, is that basically protecting you from a lot of that stuff that's in that water, that contaminated water? >> reporter: absolutely. you got to have duck boots or hip waders or other things like that to walk around here. it is really not safe to do it otherwise. you've got to have some protective gear at least up to your knees at this point. >> brian accident we're glad to see you in that protective gear. finally, how long do you think it's going to take? i talked to the mayor yesterday. he said half the city is under water. how long do you think it will take to pump the city dry? did they give you any estimates at all? >> reporter: no, no real estimate, suzanne. i have to get out of the way here for a national guard truck to come. i'll do that as i'm talking to you. the water is receding. we can say that. it is going down on its own, and with people like this out here, there's a guy being pulled on a boat, with people like this out here trying to clear some of the storm drains it may clear maybe sooner than expected, but still it's going to be very slow. at least a couple of days for
either the water to recede, for some of it to be cleared, or both. >> brian, seeing those trucks there, is that a common sight? are you just arriving there? is that something new that's going on around you? >> not new at all, suzanne. this has been going on for at least about a day or so. a lot of high clearance national guard trucks. you can see these are trucks with large wheels. high clearance trucks moving through the streets here picking people up. coming through the streets trying to see who is in need of being picked up and taken somewhere else. >> brian todd, thanks. doing an excellent job out there in hoboken, new jersey. really appreciate it. it was the first time since 1888 that the new york stock exchange closed for two days due to weather. today it is now open for trading. the writer's desktop and the coordinator's phone are working on a joke with local color. the secure cloud just received a revised intro from the strategist's tablet. and while i make my way into the venue, the candidate will be rehearsing off of his phone. [ candidate ] and thanks to every young face i see out there. [ woman ] his phone is one of his biggest supporters.
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a symbolic moment of triumph today. the new york stock exchange. >> mayor michael bloomberg range the opening bell. the new york stock exchange reopened after being shut down for two days because of superstorm sandy. you see the picture right here. sand bags actually protecting the entrance. alison is one of the first back on the floor. alison tell us what it was like. the lights are on. trading, how is it going? any glitches? >> not that we can tell, no glimpz. when i walked into the building this morning, just outside all the traders were kind of using their phones because they don't have wireless inside the building. you can feel how nervous they were. herp very northwest about how things would go off, and what we can tell is there haven't been any glimpz. there is a generator keeping the power running today. you also have to remember we're in lower manhattan, and it is the hardest hit part of the city. the thing is the markets are working.
people are placing orders. trades are going through. the floor down below here behind me is bustling on pretty good volume despite the fact that not everybody can trade stocks because of the limited wireless and internet capabilities right now. suzanne. >> what did it take to get this building as big and intricate as the new york stock exchange up and running when you have the rest of lower manhattan in the dark? >> exactly. this really was a huge effort to get the lights back on here at the stock exchange. there are a lot of electrical systems here. every trading post is connected. now, the new york stock exchange says if it tried to open yesterday, it really would have been challenging, but the pressure was certainly on the nyse to open, because, you know, this is also a huge confidence issue. the markets, they need to be open. you know, to show that new york is open for business. earlier today i did speak with the chief operating officer here at the nyse, larry lieb owi tz. he said they thought about going to an all electric trading platform earlier electronic platform earlier in a week, the exchange didn't want to rush
into it. >>. >> we've seen a lot of technology problems over the last year or two. we've seen a lot of sort of jolting to the public confidence when the market isn't working the way it's supposed to, and i think between that and the fear of the risk for human, you know, loss of coming in and being either trapped here or away from their families, we all came down on the side of let's not take the risk. >> and lieb owi tz said it's not just the nyse that was involved in the decision making process of when to open the exchange. it was a collaborative decision with other exchanges, and he says, you know what, they'll probably go back and see what they can do differently in the future, but the reality is the new york stock exchange is the one and only building with power downtown, so, hey, in that way, it's a success. suzanne. >> thank you, alison. good to see you. it has become an iconic image of superstorm sandy's power. it is the huge construction crane in new york partially collapsed by the storm's ferocious winds. it is dangling 90 stories in the air over west 57th street. now, the areas surrounding the
building, it has been evacuated. officials now say that they are trying to secure the train -- the crane, rather, as soon as the fire department says that the conditions are safe enough. when the storm hit there were some hospitals in new york that were evacuated, and many patients were moved, including this 2-pound infant. how a team of doctors worked together to save her life. [ male announcer ] your mouth is cleanest after the dentist.
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all 260 patients had to get out and fast. our sanjay gupta caught up with a family, one of the tiniest evacuees. >> reporter: monday night this baby 13-day-old baby martinez, a preemie weighing just 2 pounds suddenly needed to be urgently transported. from nyu langone hospital to mount sinai. challenging under any conditions. these were extraordinary ones. at about 10:30 p.m. ceo of mount sinai, dr. kenneth navis got the call. the baby from langone is -- >> it's as bad a challenge as can you get, and when you are dealing with tiny babies like this who are so fragile, it really can be an extraordinary circumstance. >> reporter: we're in front of nyu medical center. that's sort of the important point because just over there is
the east river. what we now know is that 7:00 p.m. there was no water inside that hospital. at 7:45 there was ten feet. the power started to go out, and then the generators failed. all of a sudden patients and the doctors found themselves in a worst case scenario. as for the parents of little baby martinez, they found out the hospital and their daughter would be evacuated when they watched mayor michael bloomberg on tv. shortly after they lost power, and they had no idea where their baby would be taken. >> it was -- my family members were calling mow the phone because certainly i lost my apartment. we had no access to the tv, no access to internet, month phone service. it was just our cell. >> reporter: just imagine the desperation, the nightmare. their 13-day-old baby rushed through the streets of new york city in the middle of hurricane sandy, while they were stuck at home in new jersey.
all they could do was hope, pray, and wait for word of where they could find their newborn. >> all the bridges were closed, and we had no choice but to go back home and just sit and wait for today to get here, and it was a very long night. very, very, very long night. i haven't had not even one hour of sleep. >> reporter: dr. kenneth davis, who we met earlier, was also the man who ok'd the transfer. now for the first time he will meet the baby he helped save. >> oh, my goodness. >> thank you so very much. >> it's so hard. you're dad? >> yes, sir. >> wow. it's going to be okay. >> you got any names picked out? >> her name is emma sophia. >> dr. sanjay gupta, cnn, new york. >> what a beautiful story. back to our other major story this hour. the race pour the white house. early voting could make all the difference in the election, especially in the wake of superstorm sandy. the ground game, of course, is in, and the swing state of ohio.
when it comes to battleground states, ohio may be the biggest battleground of all. voters' views about the auto industry bailout could help decide the race there mitt romney has been under fire for not supporting the government bailout and now he's fighting back with a new ad. >> obama took gm and chrysler into bankruptcy and sold chrysler to italians who are going to build jeeps in china. >> political contributor john avalon is joining us from youngstown, ohio. john, i understand that, first of all, there has been some pushback from the auto industry execs over the ad. how is this playing out? >> suzanne, it is fascinating. the auto industry here is a political issue, it is a personal issue, it is a pocketbook issue. it is very much a central focus of the debate. we have spoken to senators on both democrat and republican
sides of the aisle, senator rob portman and sherrod brown about this ad. take a listen. >> i say it is the most disingenuous ad i've ever seen. they know better. they know the auto rescue worked. they know that ohio reasons connected directly or indirectly to the auto rescue and they know that governor romney and my opponent's opposition to the auto rescue, they're trying to crowd the issue and it is pretty outrageous. >> it is their game to the extent it is reported in the media and that's all they have said, there is reports this could happen. the bigger issue for me is what i talked about today who has the best policies to be sure we can continue to manufacture here in america. >> so we should also say that the gm actually weighed in very unusually on this romney ad with a spokesman calling it the worst kind of cynical campaign politics. there is some pushback from the industry about this very controversial ad. >> and, john, big picture here, the latest poll showing us the
president has a little bit, a slight edge in ohio right now. but how much do you think this whole issue this debate of the auto industry factors into those numbers? >> well, it factors in in a couple of ways. it goes to the heart of the economy. people assume the economy may be improving slightly, like youngstown. but has it recovered fast enough and would it do better under mitt romney? the other issue is with this ad, whether this say pattern of mitt romney on trying fast and loose with the facts. the fact checks her a fie s hee day with this particular ad. this state couldn't be tighter. this thing is tight. and both campaigns are going all out to win ohio. >> the people you talked to in ohio, what do they make of this? do they think this is a very relevant issue to them? >> absolutely. it is an economic issue. it is an issue of the region's recovery. it is extraordinary, chrysler's profits are up 80%.
but ohio, especially this part of ohio we're in, northeastern ohio has seen manufacturing leave the state for decades. all of a sudden it is starting to comeback. so there is a sense of optimism. this is the first time that ohio's unemployment rate is lower than the nation's. but no republican has ever been elected without winning ohio. that's why the romney camp deeply investing. voters here they feel the ads, they're frustrated with the negativity and they're really paying attention to the economy and trying to figure out which candidate can help lead them further in recovery in the next four years. >> all right, thank you, john. good to see you as always. the election may be the last thing on people's minds along the northeast coast. that is where they are still uncovering all the damage left after superstorm sandy wreaked havoc on people's lives. >> you know, when you're in a crisis, you don't stop and ask your fellow new jerseyen, your first responder, you don't ask if they're a republican or democrat, how they choose to pray to their god, you just pull together and do what's necessary. [ lane ] your anti-wrinkle cream is gone...
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thousands of you are clicking on our i'm voting app, a partnership between facebook and cnn. first, the app asks you to commit to vote this election. we would like you to do that. second, it shows you how your friends, neighbors feel about a lot of issues this election. so, today, thousands of you downloaded i'm voting app on my facebook page and answers this question, has superstorm sandy changed your preference in presidential candidates? here is how your votes turned out so far. you can see the pie chart, check it out right there. 50% of you said yes, it has changed your preference and that you were impressed by obama's response to the storm. about 7% of you said yes, you were impressed by romney's
sensitivity to storm victims. and 43% said of you, no, i made up my mind about the candidates. not meant to be a reflection of the entire country's feelings, of course, on the issue, just a way to see how you stack up against other cnn and facebook users. wendy writes, no one should make any voting decisions based on the storm. this is about humanity, not politics. johnny says, i was on the fence on voting until now. will vote early with my wife and kids and vote president obama. he has shown how a president should be in a national emergency, like hurricane sandy. and valerie writes, i believe mitt romney would have helped the victims, even if he wasn't running for office. he's a caring man and his past charitable contributions and acts of kindness prove it. he's the only wise choice for president. "cnn newsroom" continues right now with anderson cooper. suzanne, thanks very